2023-24: planning for winter weather and our schools

A Message from the Department of Communications and Community Relations

It鈥檚 time to plan ahead for winter weather and听how it may affect听our schools.

This message serves as a reminder to:

  • check that your contact information is accurate in Skyward (check Skyward Family Access or with your school office if you are not sure),
  • find information on weather communications, and
  • find your snow bus route if your child rides the bus.

Depending on conditions (which could include snow, flooding, power outages, etc.), school could:

  • close for the day,
  • open two hours late with regular bus routes or snow bus routes,
  • open on time with snow bus routes.

Please familiarize yourself with听our听weather procedures here.

How can I get weather/emergency information?

Any changes to the school schedule are usually announced before 6 a.m., and we use听a variety of methods to keep听families听informed:

  • Alerts: To receive email and/or text alerts you need an email address and cell phone number in Skyward. We send updates through our notification tool, ParentSquare, which receives phone and email contact information data from Skyward, our student information system.
  • Tune in to听local media:听790 AM, 96.5听 FM, 104.1听 FM听the Bellingham Herald, Cascade Daily News or Seattle media.
  • Check bellinghamschools.辞谤驳听
  • 颁丑别肠办听on X, formerly known as Twitter, 听on Facebook听and on Instagram
  • Call听360-676-6400for a recorded message.
  • Call 360-647-6815 for a message translated in听Espa帽ol, 褉褍褋褋泻懈泄, t铆nh t峄 and Punjabi.听

What is a snow bus route and how can I find it?

If your child rides the bus to school, please check听bellinghamschools.org/snow-routes听to find out your family鈥檚 snow bus route.听If your students receive specialized transportation and may need to use an alternate inclement weather stop, you will be notified in a separate communication next week.

A snow bus route (or snow route) is a modified bus route that generally runs on main roads rather than side streets or through neighborhoods. If snow routes are in effect, students must catch their bus at alternate stops.听We have found that bus ridership is low on snow route days, so听our听snow听bus听routes听run on听main, well-traveled听roads听to increase the likelihood that we can听keep听school听open (and reduce the need for snow听make鈥搖p days).

During a weather event, please review听Bellingham Public Schools听weather communications听carefully to determine if snow听bus听routes are in effect for the morning only or for the morning and afternoon routes. It is the responsibility of families to know听their听snow route听bus stop and help your children know where to go.

If your child is in grades PreK-5,听your听Return Home Plan听you set in place听at the start of the school year听also听applies for a snow route. Please听make arrangements听to ensure the safety of your child at snow route stops.

Lastly, we encourage you to be prepared at home. Sites such as鈥痑苍诲鈥痯rovide valuable preparedness tips.

Wishing you a safe fall and winter!